Ive always been a good student. Always got good marks, even thougb Ive never liked studying much and I was always active in extra curriculars but my academics never suffered.
This was until 12th std. Now let me tell you a few things.
1. I have two over qualified elder sisters.
2. I hate math and I think the feeling is mutual.
So you can understand the whole expectations scenario at home, in school, college and tuition.
Since I’ve always been bad at math, I decided that 12th std will not be the year that math will be my weakness. So I started the year with a nerd-bang- homework, classwork, revision. You name it, I did it. I paid attention in class, I came home and revised, I solved the sums from the books. Then came the test and I was sure Ive nailed it. Except- I hadnt. I just passed.
I was so baffled. My teacher said work harder. So I did. Solved even more sums, Multiple times. Just pass again. The pressure built on, I started keeping a count of how many times I solved every sum from every lesson. The days it crossed the line was when I got my paper passed to me and I saw… A 0/30. Shame, confusion and anger rushed into my face. A zero? And it didn’t happen once. Three times.
That’s when my teacher called at my house and told my mother that I was leading myself to doom. That was the day all hell broke loose on me. My mother went crazy. Cellphone taken. Grounded. No internet. No going down. No talking on the phone. No tv. Every day lectures and scolding. A minute I’m out to drink water, rushed back into my room. Study, and if you get less marks this time, more trouble though at that time I didn’t know if it could get any worse.
I would cry everyday from helplessness, and the fact that no one saw how hard I was already working. Then one day when I called my boyfriend sneaking my phone out of it’s hiding place, he told me, “Why don’t you try reading? Stop solving that’s what I do.”. I thought it was worth a try, solving was clearly not working. And I never solved even one sum again.
I got 90/100 in math in HSC.
And that’s the day I realised, instead of asking me what’s wrong or helping me, my teacher went behind my back and complained to my mother like a little school girl. But had he not done that, I never would have realised what my best quality is- stubborn ness. I never gave up, not once because I HAD to do it, no matter what anyone said about me or how many insults and rude comments I had to bear, I kept trying and ultimately came out of it, kicking math’s ass. I realised that no matter how hard something might be, I can do anything.
Some teachers do bring the best in you, but they might never know what it triggers.
The thing is, owning a tuition or working in a school doesn’t make you a teacher. When they call parents to complain or humiliate a student in class, they do not calculate the consequences that students will have to face, you don’t know what everyone comes from. It’s very easy to flaunt all the high scorers who have been your students but what makes a person a teacher in it’s true sense is what they do to help the ones whom everyone has given up on, the non scorers, the non merit list hitters. Because it takes a true teacher to bring out the best in a student, to touch a life one student at a time.